COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Feb 15 09:05

‘There’s no anonymity anymore – don’t kid yourself’: InfoWatch head Natalya Kaspersky to RT

The best way to keep your sensitive data safe is not to upload it online, as even encrypted apps are unable to guarantee its protection, Natalya Kaspersky, the head of the InfoWatch cybersecurity company, told RT.

A modern user of digital devices must keep in mind that “all their movements are being recorded, all photos and all videos are being saved in the cloud. All text messages are being saved, too,” Kaspersky said.

Every social media platform is gathering “all the data it can get hold of,” because access to them is free and therefore they make money only through selling this information or analyzing it for advertising purposes.

There’s no anonymity. There’s been no anonymity for a long time now. And don’t kid yourself about it.

Feb 15 08:35

World's first robot ARTIST named Ai-Da is set to exhibit series of self-portraits which were created while she 'looked' in mirror with her camera eyes

A humanoid AI robot will exhibit a series of 'self portraits' she created by 'looking' into a mirror with her camera eyes.

The robot - called Ai-Da after the 19th-century mathematician Ada Lovelace - is the first ultra-realistic robot capable of drawing people from life using her eye and a pencil in her hand, according to her creators.

Ai-Da's work will be displayed at the Design Museum in London between May and June - if lockdown rules allow.

Feb 13 08:12

Disney Silent on Revelations of Abuses in China’s Concentration Camps

Disney has taken political stances against Donald Trump, the state of Georgia, and Republican members of Congress. But when it comes to China and its human rights atrocities, the Magic Kingdom sides with the Middle Kingdom every time.

In the latest example of corporate complicity through silence, the Walt Disney Co. has refused to comment on a recent report that China is overseeing the systematic rape of ethnic minority women in the western Xinjiang region. The BBC News reported earlier this month that women in China’s concentration camps for Uyghurs have been repeatedly raped, sexually abused, and tortured.

One witness told the BBC News that women were removed from the cells “every night” and raped by one or more masked Chinese men. On Thursday, China retaliated against the BBC News by suspending the network from its airwaves, claiming that the British broadcaster has harmed China’s national interests and ethnic unity.

Feb 13 08:11

Report: China Used Computer Chips to Spy on American P.C. Systems

A Friday report from Bloomberg News revealed China was able to spy on American computer systems for a decade by supplying compromised chips to Super Micro Computer Inc. (Supermicro), one of America’s leading motherboard providers.

According to the report, U.S. intelligence agencies were aware of this wide-reaching Chinese espionage program but did not warn either Supermicro or its customers, because they prioritized monitoring China’s surveillance techniques and developing countermeasures against them.

The lengthy Bloomberg report documented the known history of the Chinese espionage scheme, which took advantage of Supermicro’s reliance upon global supply chains to obtain chips for its motherboards at low prices.

Feb 12 13:43

When Corporations Become More Powerful Than The Government, Our Definition Of “Big Brother” Needs To Change

The pattern of “canceling” individuals for social media posts is well established. This can result in deplatforming, termination of employment or—if you’re baseball legend Curt Schilling—even losing your health insurance. We’re used to seeing cancel culture on a micro-scale: a newspaper editor being fired here, a university professor being suspended there. But now, thanks to an assist from Big Tech, we’re seeing cancel culture on a much broader level. Take the mass cancelation of Parler’s more than 10 million users, or growing calls to ban Fox News, Newsmax and other right-leaning channels altogether. If successful, these efforts will shrink the window of acceptable viewpoints in American society until conservatives find themselves on the outside.

Feb 12 12:20

Court Docs Show FBI Can Intercept Encrypted Messages From Deep State-Backed ‘Signal’ App

Recent court documents have indicated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) possesses a tool allowing them to access encrypted messages on the Signal app.

Signal has rapidly gained in popularity as Silicon Valley monopolists have grown more openly hostile to free speech, but the platform may be vulnerable to backdoors that undermine the privacy protections provided through the encrypted messaging service.

According to documents filed by the Department of Justice and first obtained by Forbes, Signal’s encrypted messages can be intercepted from iPhone devices when those Apple devices are in a mode called “partial AFU,” which means “after first unlock.”

Feb 12 11:59

RFK, Jr. Responds to Instagram’s Removal of His Account

Wednesday, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s Instagram account was deplatformed without advanced notice. Dozens of media outlets reporting on this censorship asserted the account was removed over “false COVID vaccine claims” or “vaccine misinformation.” Some reports referred to Kennedy as an “anti-vaxxer.”

Kennedy, founder, chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense,” unequivocally rejects those characterizations as false and misleading.

Children’s Health Defense (CHD), including Kennedy, advocates for vaccine safety and health freedom. CHD’s mission is to end childhood health epidemics by exposing the causes, eliminating harmful exposures, holding those responsible accountable and seeking justice for those harmed.

As Kennedy has said many times, for a democracy to function, civil debate of issues — including vaccine science — must be allowed. Censorship of that debate is anathema to democracy.

Feb 11 10:17

Following Oldsmar attack, FBI warns about using TeamViewer and Windows 7

In the aftermath of the Oldsmar incident, where an unidentified attacker gained access to a water treatment plant's network and modified chemical dosages to dangerous levels, the FBI has sent out an alert on Tuesday, raising attention to three security issues that have been seen on the plant's network following last week's hack.

The alert, called a Private Industry Notification, or FBI PIN, warns about the use of out-of-date Windows 7 systems, poor passwords, and desktop sharing software TeamViewer, urging private companies and federal and government organizations to review internal networks and access policies accordingly.

TEAMVIEWER CONSIDERED THE POINT OF ENTRY
The FBI PIN specifically names TeamViewer as a desktop sharing software to watch out for after the app was confirmed as the attacker's entry point into the Oldsmar water treatment plant's network.

Feb 11 08:16

What are the real dangers of artificial intelligence? RT's Boom Bust explores...

With artificial intelligence (AI) steadily progressing, concerns have been growing about how much innovation is too much. Cybersecurity expert Morgan Wright offers his forecast for the industry.
The quest for AI is right now “one of the biggest battles” between countries around the world, he tells Boom Bust, adding that we are dealing with two forms of AI: narrow or weak AI, and artificial general intelligence.

The first form is “very much based upon machine learning, what do we tell it, what do we instruct it. Eventually, where this goes is artificial general intelligence.”

Wright explains that “Governments are trying to get to in a sense very powerful, all-knowing all-seeing type of artificial general intelligence, which is used for military purposes, espionage, economics, banking, finance, and things like that.”

Feb 10 15:46

Antonopoulos Slams PayPal Bitcoin Saying it Isn’t Real Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s key characteristics, and what makes it an attractive proposition for so many, lies in it being a peer-to-peer decentralized value system.

With that, some say PayPal, as a middleman, has no business interfering with that dynamic.

To add, trading cryptocurrency on PayPal comes with conditions attached. According to their FAQ, users cannot transfer crypto in or out. Neither do they get a private key, meaning the payments giant technically owns cryptocurrencies purchased on its platform.

On that, Antonopoulos waded into the discussion by saying Bitcoin purchased on PayPal is not real Bitcoin. He states that PayPal Bitcoin increases exposure to counterparty risk, in that users have no say or insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

Feb 10 15:44

Buying Bitcoin (BTC) on PayPal Makes No sense If One cannot withdraw It

Someone who wished some transparency opined, it would be of great interest if PayPal would share with the market the volume of Bitcoin sales users accumulated in the first week of bringing this service to the masses.

One of the users asked, Can a Paypal user withdraw their Bitcoin they bought in Paypal into their own private wallets? The reply was that it will never be, as Paypal is not an exchange and you don‘t buy real tokens there, just contracts.

Despite all, users feel this is a huge step forward for increasing accessibility to $BTC. However, users feel that Buying Bitcoin with Paypal can be useless if it is not possible to withdraw it.

Feb 10 12:30

He said he was asleep at time of wife's murder. His health app said otherwise.

While not necessarily impartial, your smartphone is one hell of an observer.

An Alabama man found that out the hard way this week when he was sentenced on Monday to 16 years in prison for killing his wife. While there were numerous factors leading to Jeff West's conviction in November on charges of reckless manslaughter, AL.com, an Alabama news site, reports that data from his smartphone's health app played a role.

West reportedly told law enforcement that he had gone to sleep around 10:30 p.m. the night of his wife's death in 2018. However, according to data from his phone's health app, he took 18 steps between 11:03 p.m. and 11:10 p.m.

His deceased wife, Kat West, was 42 year old.

Feb 10 12:29

SpaceX Officially Opens Starlink Preorders

Hopeful Starlink users no longer have to wait for a magical beta invite to use the service. SpaceX has officially opened pre-orders to everyone currently in its service area, reports The Verge.

For a $99 refundable deposit, eligible users who want to give SpaceX’s satellite internet a shot can reserve their spot in line to get a Starlink kit mailed to them. The kit, which costs $499, includes a mountable dish antenna, wifi router, and power supply.

For my area, a sprawling suburb in Southern California, Starlink is planning to start rolling out coverage sometime mid- to late 2021, but it could be different for folks who live elsewhere. Anyone who receives a kit will be notified via email and will have to pay a one-time $499 fee for the kit, plus applicable taxes, shipping and handling. The deposit will go toward the first month of service, but it’s also refundable.

Feb 10 12:27

Cyberpunk 2077 developer hit with ransomware attack

Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red announced that it has "become the victim of a targeted cyberattack" that allegedly exposed the source code for many of its games.

In a message the developer shared on Twitter Tuesday morning, the hackers allege that they stole the closely guarded source code for Cyberpunk 2077, Gwent, and The Witcher 3 (including an unreleased prototype of the last). Documents "relating to accounting, administration, legal, HR, investors relations and more" were also allegedly compromised.

Feb 10 12:11

Telegram Rockets To Number One Downloaded App In World 

The two-word Tweet from Elon Musk on Jan. 7 saying "Use Signal" has helped fuel millions in Signal and Telegram downloads. More importantly, Telegram, an instant messaging app with file transfer capabilities, has rocketed to the world's top app download.

Musk, the world's richest man, told his Twitter followers of more than 46 million to "Use Signal" last month amid concerns about an updated privacy policy for WhatApp.

On Jan. 12, days after Musk tweeted, Telegram said they "surpassed 500 million active users. 25 million new users joined in the last 72 hours: 38% came from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America, and 8% from MENA."

Feb 10 05:59

How much is your info worth on the Dark Web? For Americans, it's just $8

Personal information from US citizens found on the Dark Web—ranging from Social Security numbers, stolen credit card numbers, hacked PayPal accounts, and more—is worth just $8 on average, according to a new report from tech research firm Comparitech.

Researchers pored through the prices of personal data and information—called "fullz" by those searching for "full credentials"—that are available for sale on nearly 50 different Dark Web marketplaces, finding that Japan, the UAE, and EU countries have the most expensive identities available at an average price of $25.

The report also said the prices for stolen credit card numbers range from just 11 cents to nearly $1,000. There were similarly huge price swings for stolen PayPal account data, which cost anywhere between $5 and $1,767, Comparitech researchers found, adding that the prices for accounts based in the US or UK were cheapest because they represented most of what was available.

Feb 09 15:54

Democrats seek to empower Big Tech to spy on Trump supporters and conservatives by falsely classifying them as “extremists”

Here’s the thing: Democrats have already shown a penchant to favor censoring Trump and anyone who backs him. This new bill is about achieving more of that under the guise of ‘stopping extremism.’ -- We should never let would-be tyrants define the issue or debate when it comes to our liberties.

Feb 09 11:22

Windows 10 update disaster — Microsoft confirms app crashes and blue screens of death

Another day, another Windows 10 update that’s causing problems. Well, technically it’s two updates this time, and Microsoft has confirmed (via BetaNews) that they’re causing issues for users.

The specific updates are KB4598299 and KB4598301, with users reporting that both are causing Blue Screen of Deaths as well as various app crashes.

If you’ve been suffering from issues with your Windows machine following an update, check to see which version of the operating system you have installed. Versions 1909, 2004, and 20H2 are the ones responsible for this latest problem.

Ironically, the updates were supposed to deal with issues in .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.8, but instead just introduced a different issue.

One of the most affected apps is Visual Studio, which obviously makes life more difficult for developers. In fact, it was the Visual Studio forums where Microsoft admitted that the updates were causing problems, and that a fix would be coming soon.

Feb 09 11:05

COVID WAS EXCUSE FOR CBP TO INSTALL FACIAL RECOGNITION AT 76 AIRPORTS

A recent DHS report titled the “CBP Trade and Travel Report” reads like an instruction manual on how to exploit the public’s fear of COVID. The report is a perfect example of how the Feds used the pandemic as an excuse to install facial recognition cameras across the country.

Feb 09 09:42

Deepfake Detectors Can Be Defeated, Computer Scientists Show For The First Time

Systems designed to detect deepfakes --videos that manipulate real-life footage via artificial intelligence--can be deceived, computer scientists showed for the first time at the WACV 2021 conference which took place online Jan. 5 to 9, 2021.

Researchers showed detectors can be defeated by inserting inputs called adversarial examples into every video frame. The adversarial examples are slightly manipulated inputs which cause artificial intelligence systems such as machine learning models to make a mistake. In addition, the team showed that the attack still works after videos are compressed.

Feb 09 08:47

Apple’s App Store is hosting multimillion-dollar scams, says this iOS developer

Mobile app developer Kosta Eleftheriou has a new calling that goes beyond software development: taking on what he sees as a rampant scam problem ruining the integrity of Apple’s App Store.

Eleftheriou, who created the successful Apple Watch keyboard app FlickType, has for the last two weeks been publicly criticizing Apple for lax enforcement of its App Store rules that have allowed scam apps, as well as apps that clone popular software from other developers, to run rampant. These apps enjoy top billing in the iPhone marketplace, all thanks to glowing reviews and sterling five-star ratings that are largely fabricated, he says.

Feb 09 08:45

Raspberry Pi OS added a Microsoft repo. No, it’s not an evil secret

We were recently alerted to something of a tempest in a teapot: when the Raspberry Pi Foundation made it easier to install Microsoft's Visual Studio Code development environment, some Linux users mistook it for a sort of Mark of the Beast, with concerns being raised about telemetry and "what Microsoft repo secretly installed without your knowledge."

It's true that an update recently pushed to Raspberry Pi OS added a Microsoft repo to Raspberry Pi OS systems—but it's not true that it added any actual packages whatsoever.

Feb 09 08:45

It's No Surprise This Absolutely Obscene 7-Screen Laptop Has 1-Hour Battery Life

The Aurora 7 laptop seems lifted straight from the imagination of a Hollywood prop builder working on a bad hacker flick. But with seven foldout screens, there’s little chance anyone could actually use this beast on their laps. It’s a mobile transforming workstation for those who need more screen real estate than they have room for monitors.

Created by a UK company called Expanscape, the Aurora 7 is very much just a prototype at this stage in the game (as is evident by the extensive use of 3D-printed parts), but it’s designed to be true mobile workstation for everyone from developers to content creators to even well-funded gamers wanting a more immersive experience from a computer they don’t have to leave at home.

Feb 09 08:44

The iPhone 12 Mini May Not Be Long for This World

Folks with tiny hands have been clamoring for a smaller smartphone for years, and in 2020, Apple finally delivered with the iPhone 12 Mini. Except it looks like Apple might stop manufacturing its littlest phone due to less-than-stellar sales.

Supply chain analyst William Yang of JP Morgan has reportedly cut production expectations for the iPhone 12 Mini by 11 million units, AppleInsider reported. Yang went on to say that Apple might even stop production entirely by the second quarter of this year. Yang also revised down his expectations for the standard iPhone 12 by 9 million units, while tweaking numbers for both the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max up by 2 million and 11 million units, respectively. The iPhone 11, surprisingly, also got a boost; Yang adjusted his expectations for the 2019 flagship up by 8 million units.

Feb 09 08:19

Hacker Tried To Poison Entire Florida Town By Raising Chemical Levels In Water Supply

A town in Florida has been target of a hack which briefly altered chemicals in its water supply to "potentially damaging levels" according to local media reports. Federal and local authorities are currently investigating the computer network intrusion which happened last Friday morning, the alarming details of which are emerging Monday.

Plant operators overseeing the small city of Oldsmar’s water supply began observing strange activity on their monitors. That's when technicians noticed that sodium hydroxide levels (or lye), which is used to treat the city's water in small amounts in order to control acidity while removing heavy metals, was being remotely pushed higher.

Feb 09 08:16

IMF Wants To Use "Digital Footprint Of Customers' Online Activities" To Assess Creditworthiness

For years, researchers have warned of a system in which the government controls every aspect of its citizens’ lives. Every citizen would have to rely entirely on the government to survive in this system. This system has been openly discussed for many years by the “ruling class.” Aka: those who have been allotted social credit (or not) and power based upon their views and opinions.

The system has already begun in China and is now spreading globally
In a recent post, “What is Really New In Fintech,” on the IMF blog (International Monetary Fund), authors Arnoud Boot, Peter Hoffmann, Luc Laeven, and Lev Ratnovski suggest “rapid technological change” in the financial industry. Many social media and other online platforms are now creating and accepting payments. This revolutionary change in the banking world could change the face of finance forever.

As a result of this rapid change, the authors bring up the following questions:

Feb 09 07:30

FROM “EVENT 201” TO “CYBER POLYGON”: THE WEF’S SIMULATION OF A COMING “CYBER PANDEMIC”

Last year, the World Economic Forum teamed up with the Russian government and global banks to run a high-profile cyberattack simulation that targeted the financial industry, an actual event that would pave the way for a “reset” of the global economy. The simulation, named Cyber Polygon, may have been more than a typical planning exercise and bears similarities to the WEF-sponsored pandemic simulation Event 201 that briefly preceded the COVID-19 crisis.

Feb 08 22:14

China Turns Semiconductors Into The ‘New Oil’ While GM Runs Out Of Chips

If it’s not compared to gold (Bitcoin) or oil (solar) then it’s probably not worthy. The “new oil” in the tech world is semiconductors. China’s “Greater Bay Area” is where all the new drilling will happen. Right now, it’s where the demand is coming from in a world facing chip shortages for car makers.

About two years ago, the Chinese government released its latest strategy to compete with the Western world, namely the U.S. The name “Greater Bay Area” alone strikes many China chords — it’s their old school copy cat style in mimicking the Bay Area of San Francisco, and more importantly, it’s a challenge to Palo Alto. China isn’t going to just compete with the Bay Area of California. It’s going to be greater than than the Bay Area of California.

The cities of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Shenzen, China thinks, will eventually smoke Silicon Valley.

Feb 08 21:28

FBI, Secret Service investigate after hacker tried to poison a Florida city's water with lye

'A matter of national security': FBI, Secret Service investigate after hacker tried to poison a Florida city's water with lye
Associated Press

OLDSMAR, Fla. — A hacker broke into remote access software shared by workers at a Florida city's water treatment plant in an unsuccessful attempt to fill the water supply with a potentially harmful chemical, authorities said.

An unknown suspect breached a computer system for the city of Oldsmar's water treatment plant on Friday and briefly increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during a news conference Monday.

Sodium hydroxide, also called lye, is used to treat water acidity but the compound is also found in cleaning supplies such as soaps and drain cleaners. It can cause irritation, burns and other complications in larger quantities.

Feb 08 15:45

Big Brother Is Spying On You In Thousands Of Ways, And All Of That Info Now Goes Into Centralized “Fusion Systems”

They really do want to control what all of us do, say and think, and the Big Brother surveillance grid is becoming more suffocating with each passing year. -- If we do not put limits on this technology while we still can, it is just a matter of time before our society becomes a dystopian nightmare far more horrible than anything than George Orwell ever dared to imagine.

Feb 08 15:16

Mark Zuckerberg's Big Problem Has Been Obvious for 17 Years, but Nobody Wants to Admit ItWhat if nobody could ever tell you that you're wrong?

Here's why this matters now. There are only a few forces on the planet powerful enough to take on Facebook. National governments might be among them, maybe. But otherwise, we're looking at the other tech behemoths.

As it happens, one of those behemoths, Apple, has all but declared war on Facebook, while another, Google, looks as if it's gearing up to join the fight. My colleague Jason Aten has done a great job recently chronicling the battle:

Apple is set to change its privacy rules so that app developers will have to request permission before tracking most users.
That runs squarely into Facebook, where the entire business model basically involves tracking users in order to sell "personalized ads."
Who tells you no?
Apple's move could be an existential threat; at least Facebook seems to think it is. I can't predict how it will all turn out.

Feb 08 12:05

9 scary revelations from 40 years of facial recognition research

In science fiction, facial recognition technology is a hallmark of a dystopian society. The truth of how it was created, and how it's used today, is just as freaky.

In a new study, researchers conduct a historical survey of over 100 data sets used to train facial recognition systems compiled over the last 43 years. The broadest revelation is that, as the need for more data (i.e. photos) increased, researchers stopped bothering to ask for the consent of the people in the photos they used as data.

Researchers Deborah Raji of Mozilla and Genevieve Fried of AI Now published the study on Cornell University's free distribution service, arXiv.org. The MIT Technology Review published its analysis of the paper Friday, describing it as "the largest ever study of facial-recognition data" that "shows how much the rise of deep learning has fueled a loss of privacy."

Feb 08 12:04

Starlink already has 10,000 users, according to a SpaceX FCC filing

Elon Musk's satellite internet experiment Starlink is still in the primordial stages of development, but apparently people are already using it.

That's the claim in SpaceX's latest FCC filing anyway. According to SpaceX, the user count in the United States and elsewhere totals more than 10,000 right now. That's obviously not a massive number, but considering Starlink's service offering is still in beta and the company is still actively launching satellites into space, it's a start.

What's perhaps even more interesting are the claims SpaceX makes about Starlink's performance. The filing says most Starlink customers can expect internet download speeds of at least 100Mbps with fewer than 31 milliseconds of latency. That download speed number is key, as it would put Starlink's service well above the average speed users get in several states.

Feb 08 11:52

Days After Blocking Facebook, Myanmar’s Military Government Has Now Blocked Instagram and Twitter

Myanmar’s new military-led government has blocked Instagram and Twitter in the country in an attempt to squash citizen resistance to the coup it staged earlier this week that ousted the country’s democratically elected government.

The new restrictions were announced on Friday by Telenor, an internet provider with headquarters in Norway, which stated that all mobile operators, international gateways, and internet service providers in Myanmar received a directive from the country’s Ministry of Transport and Communications to block the social media networks until further notice.

The move comes just days after the new government blocked Facebook, which is estimated to be used by roughly half of the country’s 55 million people. It is one of the most popular forms of communication in Myanmar.

Feb 08 10:49

With one update, this malicious Android app hijacked millions of devices

With a single update, a popular barcode scanner app on Google Play transformed into malware and was able to hijack up to 10 million devices.

Lavabird Ltd.'s Barcode Scanner was an Android app that had been available on Google's official app repository for years. The app, accounting for over 10 million installs, offered a QR code reader and a barcode generator -- a useful utility for mobile devices.

The mobile application appeared to be legitimate, trustworthy software, with many users having installed the app years ago without any problems -- until recently.

According to Malwarebytes, users recently started to complain of adverts appearing unexpectedly on their Android devices. It is often the case that unwanted programs, ads, and malvertising are connected with new app installations, but in this example, users reported that they had not installed anything recently.

Upon investigation, the researchers pinpointed Barcode Scanner as the culprit.

Feb 08 09:35

The Semi Chip Shortage Is Turning Into A Crisis

For the better part of the last month we have been writing about how the shortage in semiconductors has wreaked havoc on the auto industry.

Now, it looks as though the shortage is going from being a nagging pain in the auto industry, to a full scale crisis that is also affecting consumer electronics like phones and gaming consoles.

It is now being referred to as the "most serious shortage in years", with Qualcomm's CEO saying last week that there were now shortages "across the board", according to Bloomberg.

Feb 08 06:59

The Semi Chip Shortage Is Turning Into A Crisis

For the better part of the last month we have been writing about how the shortage in semiconductors has wreaked havoc on the auto industry.

Now, it looks as though the shortage is going from being a nagging pain in the auto industry, to a full scale crisis that is also affecting consumer electronics like phones and gaming consoles.

It is now being referred to as the "most serious shortage in years", with Qualcomm's CEO saying last week that there were now shortages "across the board", according to Bloomberg.

Feb 08 06:40

They Stormed the Capitol. Their Apps Tracked Them.

In 2019, a source came to us with a digital file containing the precise locations of more than 12 million individual smartphones for several months in 2016 and 2017. The data is supposed to be anonymous, but it isn’t. We found celebrities, Pentagon officials and average Americans.

It became clear that this data — collected by smartphone apps and then fed into a dizzyingly complex digital advertising ecosystem — was a liability to national security, to free assembly and to citizens living mundane lives. It provided an intimate record of people whether they were visiting drug treatment centers, strip clubs, casinos, abortion clinics or places of worship.

Surrendering our privacy to the government would be foolish enough. But what is more insidious is the Faustian bargain made with the marketing industry, which turns every location ping into currency as it is bought and sold in the marketplace of surveillance advertising.

Feb 07 06:53

Independent Media Under Fire : “Disinformation” for speaking up about the abuse

Big Tech is running scared now because Conservatives and other censored voices are beginning to unite and see their common enemy in broad daylight. Florida is one of the first states to give conservatives the power to sue Big Tech when they censor conservative’s political speech and impede their ability to participate in democracy. Right now, the authoritarian Democrats and the Big Tech elite look desperate and weak as they do everything in their power to manipulate their victims into thinking the censorship never actually happened to them, that they are going crazy, that the abuse is somehow justified.

Feb 06 14:47

'See Something, Say Something Online Act' Punishes Big Tech for Not Snitching

A new bill revitalizes the war on terror's favorite slogan in service of forcing tech companies to turn over more user data to the government. The "See Something, Say Something Online Act," introduced by Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.) and co-sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R–Texas), is the latest attack on the federal communications law known as Section 230 as well as freedom of speech and online privacy.

The legislation says any interactive computer service provider—that means social media giants, small blogs, podcast hosting services, app stores, consumer review platforms, independent political forums, crowdfunding and Patreon-style sites, dating apps, newsletter services, and much more—will lose Section 230 protections if they fail to report any known user activity that might be deemed "suspicious."

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Feb 06 05:55

Hacker Refuses to Hand Police Password for Seized Wallet With $6.5M in Bitcoin

German authorities who seized a convicted hacker’s wallet containing over 1,700 bitcoin – worth at least $64.7 million at today’s prices – have hit a brick wall when trying to access the coins.

  • According to a German prosecutor cited by Reuters Friday, the convicted criminal is refusing to share the password that would allow the authorities to access the bitcoin.
  • The hacker was sentenced to an over two-year prison term for installing software on other people’s computers without permission in order to mine cryptocurrency.
  • He has now served the sentence and has consistently refused hand over the wallet password, despite multiple requests.
  • “We asked him but he didn’t say,” prosecutor Sebastian Murer told Reuters. “Perhaps he doesn’t know.”
  • Prosecutors have made sure the man cannot access the bitcoin trove after release, Reuters said without providing any further detail
Feb 05 11:41

Google patches an actively exploited Chrome zero-day

Google has released today version 88.0.4324.150 of the Chrome browser for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Today's release contains only one bugfix for a zero-day vulnerability that was exploited in the wild.

The zero-day, which was assigned the identifier of CVE-2021-21148, was described as a "heap overflow" memory corruption bug in the V8 JavaScript engine.

Google said the bug was exploited in attacks in the wild before a security researcher named Mattias Buelens reported the issue to its engineers on January 24.

Two days after Buelens' report, Google's security team published a report about attacks carried out by North Korean hackers against the cyber-security community.

Feb 05 07:33

Millions of Android devices threatened by botnet malware — what to do

Millions of Android devices threatened by botnet malware — what to do
By Paul Wagenseil 17 hours ago

But there's an easy way to avoid infection

Chinese researchers say millions of Android devices, including smartphones, tablets, TVs and set-top boxes, are threatened by new malware that wants to draft the devices into a giant botnet.

The botnet malware, which the researchers at Qihoo 360's Netlab are calling "Matryosh" because its functions are layered like a Russian matryoshka nesting doll, using the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) interface to infect devices.

Feb 05 07:15

Meet The Robot Designed To Replace Forklifts 

San Jose-based robotics company Fetch unveiled the latest robot to replace human forklift drivers in warehouses, called PalletTransport1500, according to a company press release.

The PalletTransport1500 is a square-like robot capable of lifting pallets weighing up to 2,500 pounds. The robot is powered by Honeywell Intelligrated's Momentum software suite designed to automate warehouses.

Fetch claims that forklifts are the most significant safety risks in warehouses, resulting in 100,000 injuries every year. Here's a tweet from the company showing how the robot works.

Feb 05 07:07

Amazon Plans To Install AI Surveillance Cameras In Delivery Vans 

Amazon is preparing to install high-tech video cameras inside its fleet of delivery vehicles to better monitor drivers' behavior, according to The Verge.

The Information first uncovered an instructional video sent out to employees and contract workers about Amazon's new partnership with Netradyne, a California-based company developing video cameras inside fleet vehicles to monitor drivers. The device will tell the driver: "Distracted driving," "No stop detected," and "Please slow down."

The video was first uploaded to Vimeo a week ago and is titled "Amazon Netradyne Driver Information." A link to the video can be found here. Amazon's senior manager for last-mile safety, Karolina Haraldsdottir, narrates the video and explains the new technology will improve safety among its fleet drivers.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Remember when the Post Office started over-managing their employees?

Feb 05 06:59

Samsung, Apple, Google or OnePlus: Surprising data shows which smartphones retain the most value

A new smartphone can cost hundreds of dollars and many people choose to upgrade within a few years. A better understanding of a brand or model's depreciation could help consumers make more cost-effective purchasing decisions. Decluttr published its biannual report in January that focused on phone depreciation for many of the top makes and models. The report compares popular smartphone models from Apple, Samsung, Google, OnePlus, and Huawei.

The report states that all data related to the "Phone 12 and all Samsung models, excluding the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Samsung Galaxy Flip, is accurate as of January 2021" and that "all other models are accurate as of August 2020."

Feb 05 06:49

Pompeo Says China Will Use Artificial Intelligence to Harm US

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview aired on Feb. 4 that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will use artificial intelligence to comb through troves of personal data on U.S. citizens recovered from Chinese technology and apps and use the intelligence as a weapon to strong-arm the United States.

“They will use that information. They will use artificial intelligence to gather it up. And then they will turn around and tell us that if we don’t act in a way that’s consistent with what the Chinese Communist Party wants, they will impose real costs on the United States,” Pompeo told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo.

Pompeo was responding to a question on whether the administration of President Joe Biden should keep in place the sanctions and other restrictions imposed on Chinese companies by former President Donald Trump.

Feb 04 13:41

What a picture of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a bikini tells us about the disturbing future of AI

Want to see a half-naked woman? Well, you’re in luck! The internet is full of pictures of scantily clad women. There are so many of these pictures online, in fact, that artificial intelligence (AI) now seems to assume that women just don’t like wearing clothes.

Feb 04 13:03

5 apps you should delete right now

You probably have more than enough space on your phone to hold whatever you want. The bad news: Your phone is probably full of junk you never think to remove.

Take your photo gallery. How many duplicates, screenshots, and memes are clogging things up? Cleaning it up isn’t so bad if you have the right tools. Tap or click here for my top picks to easily organize your photos.

Then it’s time to tackle your apps. Don’t make the mistake of uninstalling apps without first deleting the associated account. Tap or click for easy steps on identifying apps you no longer use and removing them.

When you’re ready to start deleting, tackle these apps first:

Feb 04 12:03

The Digital Police State Is Being Institutionalized Throughout the Western World

Alarming News. In Germany the Parliament (Bundestag) ratified on 29 January 2021, the implementation of Agenda ID2020.

This is a centralized general electronic data collection of every citizen to which every government agency, police – and possibly also the private sector would have access.

It covers all that is known about an individual citizen, now up to 200 points of in formation and possibly more as time goes on, from your bank account to your shopping habits, health records (vaccination records, of course), your political inclinations, and probably even your dating habits and other entries into your private sphere.

Agenda ID2020 was designed by Bill Gates as part of the “vaccination package”. It is backed by the Rockefeller Foundation, Accenture, the WEF and GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, now simply called the Vaccine Alliance), also a Gates creation (2001), with HQ in Geneva, Switzerland.

Feb 03 13:56

That notice about a package you didn’t order? It’s a scam

Pat and Chris recently reported the following problem: they received an email informing them their delivery package had been delayed. It included a request to log on and confirm receipt of the notice. But neither could remember what they had ordered so they deleted the email. Smart!

Their computer and emails could have been jeopardized by logging on to this notice. They contacted our office for advice on how to handle such notices. Here is what we advise should a similar occurrence happen to you.

Feb 03 10:54

Microsoft Defender ATP is detecting yesterday's Chrome update as a backdoor

Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), the commercial version of the ubiquitous Defender antivirus and Microsoft's top enterprise security solution, is currently having a bad day and labeling yesterday's Google Chrome browser update as a backdoor trojan.

The detections, as can be seen in a screenshot above shared with ZDNet by one of our readers, are for Google Chrome 88.0.4324.146, the latest version of the Chrome browser, which Google released last night.

As per the screenshot above, but also based on reports shared on Twitter by other dismayed system administrators, Defender ATP is currently detecting multiple files part of the Chrome v88.0.4324.146 update package as containing a generic backdoor trojan named "PHP/Funvalget.A."

Feb 03 08:42

China Suspected In Hack Of US Federal Payroll Agency Using SolarWind Exploit

Just days after China sent a not-so-subtle warning to Taiwan regarding independence (and by extension, to US President Joe Biden), inside sources at the FBI are leaking details about another cyberattack linked to Solarwind, which made headlines in December after operatives believed to be sponsored by the Russian government used an exploit to compromise classified systems.

This time, however, the villain is China - which federal agents believe used the same SolarWinds exploit as the suspected Russians to break into US government computers and access an unknown quantity of data, according to "five people familiar with the matter."

One of the agencies believed to have been hacked by China is the National Finance Center, an obscure agency in the federal government that handles payroll and other sensitive data. It's housed within the Department of Agriculture, but contains information from employees across the federal government.

Feb 03 06:30

Huawei Struggles in Smartphone Market as Sanctions Bite, Apple Profits

Chinese telecom giant Huawei saw a substantial drop in both smartphone shipments and market share in China market in 2020, following a tough year of US government’s strangle on semiconductors supply, allowing US rival Apple to rise to fill up the void.

Under the US’ relentless assault, Huawei saw a drop in market share in China from 38.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 25.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, the only one of the top five smartphone makers in China whose share declined, an International Data Corp (IDC) report showed on Tuesday.

Industry experts said that Huawei’s rare market share decline reflected the US block on chips that affected the supply chain of the company’s high-end mobile series.

There were 86.4 million smartphones shipped in China in the fourth quarter of 2020, almost flat year-on-year, with Huawei being the only smartphone maker among the top five that did not grow. The others were Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Apple.

Feb 02 15:29

EXCLUSIVE: Trump supporter flagged with facial recognition technology at airport, interrogated by DHS, FBI

A Trump supporter who attended the peaceful rally that preceded the Capitol Hill riot revealed to The Post Millennial that she was flagged with facial recognition technology and interrogated by Homeland Security while flying home from vacation last week. Then FBI agents appeared at her house.

When 54-year-old Dana Kurtbek of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, travelled to Mexico with her daughter, the conservative woman was held at Philadelphia Airport for intensive screening conducted by the Transportation Security Administration—even though she is enrolled in the expedited TSA PreCheck program—and missed her American Airlines flight.

"I thought it was just random bad luck," she told The Post Millennial, emphasizing that she's a taxpaying, law-abiding American citizen with no criminal record. Fortunately, she was placed on a later flight.

Feb 02 11:12

Robinhood plummets back down to a one-star rating on Google Play

Investment app Robinhood has plummeted back down to a one-star rating on Google Play, thanks to a flood of thousands of new negative reviews.

The latest low rating comes just days after Google salvaged the app’s rating by removing nearly 100,000 reviews, following a flood of negative ratings after the Robinhood blocked purchases of popular stocks from Reddit’s /r/WallStreetBets like GameStop or AMC last week.

Feb 02 09:52

New ‘cryogenic’ computer chip heralds ‘transformational’ breakthrough in quantum computing

Researchers in Australia have developed a new kind of cryogenic quantum computer chip which operates at close to the theoretical coldest temperature in the universe and may spark a new technological revolution.
The system, called Gooseberry, runs at a temperature 40 times colder than deep space – a 20-fold increase over what's possible with quantum computers today.

Immensely complex mathematical equations that would take traditional supercomputers hundreds if not thousands of years to calculate can take a quantum computer a matter of seconds to finish.

“This is going to be transformational in the next few years,” said Andrew White, the director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems.

Feb 02 09:45

YouTube censors over 500,000 videos to protect globalist COVID-19 hysteria narrative

Wojcicki made it clear that pushing Big Pharma’s experimental vaccines is a driving force behind her censorship agenda. This is part of the mad rush to stick as many people with the shots as quickly as possible before the many negative side-effects can be fully understood.

Feb 02 09:36

Microsoft tracked a system sending a million malware emails a month. Here's what it discovered

Microsoft has posted an extensive account of its investigation of the systems used to fire out millions of emails distributing at least seven different types of malware.

Microsoft identifies two elements of the new email infrastructure it discovered in March and April, and then tracked for the rest of the year. It calls the first segment StrangeU because of it often using the word "strange" in new domains. The second segment used a domain generation algorithm, a technique for creating domain names randomly, and was thus dubbed RandomU.

"The emergence of this infrastructure in March dovetailed with the disruption of the Necurs botnet that resulted in the reduction of service," security researchers from the Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team said.

Necurs was a large and long-running botnet with a history in delivering the Dridex banking trojan, but it's also been used to distribute ransomware, remote access trojans, and information-stealing trojans.

Feb 02 09:02

New ‘cryogenic’ computer chip heralds ‘transformational’ breakthrough in quantum computing

Researchers in Australia have developed a new kind of cryogenic quantum computer chip which operates at close to the theoretical coldest temperature in the universe and may spark a new technological revolution.

The system, called Gooseberry, runs at a temperature 40 times colder than deep space – a 20-fold increase over what's possible with quantum computers today.

Immensely complex mathematical equations that would take traditional supercomputers hundreds if not thousands of years to calculate can take a quantum computer a matter of seconds to finish.

“This is going to be transformational in the next few years,” said Andrew White, the director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems.

Feb 02 08:46

How Amazon’s Ring, the privacy-busting doorbell surveillance tool, is extending its influence with police across the US

The number of police forces joining Ring’s partnership program across America more than doubled in 2020, despite there being little evidence that it’s an effective crimefighting device. The rise is sparking major privacy concerns.

Newly released figures indicate that nearly 2,000 police departments across the US are partnered with Amazon’s Ring, in the process expanding the reach of the highly controversial civilian surveillance network yet further.

Ring, bought by the e-commerce giant in February 2018 for a fee that could be as much as US$1.8 billion, is best-known for producing a range of ‘smart’ doorbells, which house high-definition cameras, motion sensors, microphones, and speakers.

Not long after its purchase, the partnership program was launched – under its auspices, Ring offers authorities access to video footage recorded by the millions of internet-connected devices its customers have mounted to their homes.

Feb 01 11:46

Reddit Outages Reported As r/WallStreetBets Experiences Surge In Web Traffic  

Reddit users are reporting issues with the website on Sunday morning, according to Downdector. The outage map appears widespread.

Redditors began reporting issues around 0930 ET and appear heavily concentrated in the Northeast.

While there is no official confirmation from the website of what is causing issues and outages for users, people on Downdector who are reporting the problems suggest "WSB (r/WallStreetBets) has bogged the server down."

Others said, "reddit down again lol."

Someone else said, "This is the second time in less than 24 hours."

Feb 01 11:13

Testing

Feb 01 11:04

Beware: Malicious Home Depot ad gets top spot in Google Search

A malicious Home Depot advertising campaign is redirect Google search visitors to tech support scams.

Malicious Google search ads are nothing new, with campaigns for Amazon Prime, PayPal, and eBay seen in the past. As these ads look like legitimate campaigns for the company, including showing their standard URL when you hover over them, it is common for people to be tricked into clicking on them.

Yesterday, BleepingComputer was notified by someone who fell for a malicious Home Depot advertisement currently displayed in the top spot of a Google search.

As a test, BleepingComputer searched for 'home depot' and was shown the malicious advertisement on our first try. Even worse, the ad is the top spot in the research result, making it more likely to be clicked.

Feb 01 09:28

Major Security Issues w/ Hillary Clinton's Email Server--SCOTUS Fight Soon?

Feb 01 09:27

SHOCK: Biden in DANGER after SHOCKING reveal over Hunter’s laptop scandal: ‘Things get worse’

Feb 01 08:43

Bing there, done that: Microsoft could step in if Google exits Australia over content licensing row, PM Morrison says

Microsoft is ready to bolster its presence in Australia if Google follows through with a threat to pull its search engine from the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said.
Australia is mulling legislation that would require Google and Facebook to pay domestic media outlets for using their content on their platforms, a move that the two tech giants strenuously oppose. Google has claimed that the licensing fees would make their services financially unviable, warning last month that the company would stop offering its popular search engine in Australia if the law goes through.

Feb 01 08:34

Don’t Let Apple’s ‘Privacy’ Fight With Facebook Fool You For A Second

War is brewing in Silicon Valley. A long-simmering fight between Apple and Facebook — two of the architects of Big Tech — spilled into the avenue this past week, with commercial and legal threats hitting the pages of both tech publications and broader media.

To read the Cult of Mac journalists who dominate Big Tech reporting, you’d think America had flipped the calendar back 10 years to a simpler time when Apple, Inc. was seen as some white knight fighting for innovation, user privacy, and a freer, cooler future. Facebook, on the other hand, you might read, stands for old-fashioned corporate greed.

It’s garbage,(see: https://slate.com/technology/2020/01/against-the-cult-of-apple.html) of course — the good guy part, anyways.

Feb 01 08:18

Microsoft Update Forces Outlook Users to Pay a Fee to Keep Emails, Causes Outrage

Microsoft Imposes a 15GB Email Storage Limit for Outlook Users
According to Express Co UK, back in 2013, Microsoft automatically switched accounts with hotmail.com or hotmail.co.uk into Microsoft outlook without repercussion. Since then, Outlook was the new hotmail. Thus, it was not possible to create a new Hotmail address anymore since it was rebranded to be Microsoft's outlook. Despite the change being implemented, a new update has once again shocked users as Micorosoft is now imposing a 15-GB email account limit, unless users want to pay for a subscription fee to keep their accounts.

Moreover, Microsoft has been sending warning emails that users are almost reaching their storage limit. By upgrading to the Premium account versions through a subscription fee, Micorosft will allow users to have an extra storage capacity. Anyone who wants to do so will have to pay £59.99 a year to upgrade to Microsoft's new Office 365 service.

Feb 01 08:12

Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Microsoft Edge: Which browser gobbles up the most RAM?

A few years ago, gaming company Corsair put out an amusing advertisement that quickly went viral. In it, a man wearing a Google Chrome shirt greedily devours a plate of RAM-shaped cookies, while another man in an Adobe Photoshop shirt takes a dainty bite of one, then puts the rest back.

It was a damning indictment of Chrome — even if it was missing some important context. For the record, Google Chrome really does go to town on your computer’s memory, and I had a good laugh along with everyone else. But it also got me thinking: Does Chrome really gobble up more than its fair share of RAM? And, if so, do other popular Internet browsers take a more conservative approach?

Feb 01 07:18

Project Veritas Exposes Mark Zuckerberg And Other Facebook Executives In New Leaked Video

Project Veritas has exposed darkness once again.

Project Veritas led by James O’ Keefe recently released a new leaked conference call between Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives.

In the call Zuckerberg and other executives were quoted saying “Facebook has too much power” and Facebook “wants to work with Biden”.

Leaders from Facebook also openly bashed President Trump in their January 7th call.

Watch a snippet of the leaked video here before it’s taken down:

The Gateway Pundit gave these interesting details:

Project Veritas on Sunday night released insider leaked videos of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other FB execs admitting Facebook has “too much power.”

James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas team have obtained hours of leaked video from a brave insider at Facebook.

Jan 31 14:20

Samsung Considers $10 Billion Texas Chipmaking Plant, Sources Say

Samsung Electronics Co. is considering spending more than $10 billion building its most advanced logic chipmaking plant in the U.S., a major investment it hopes will win more American clients and help it catch up with industry leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

The world’s largest memory chip and smartphone maker is in discussions to locate a facility in Austin, Texas, capable of fabricating chips as advanced as 3 nanometers in the future, people familiar with the matter said. Plans are preliminary and subject to change but for now the aim is to kick off construction this year, install major equipment from 2022, then begin operations as early as 2023, they said. While the investment amount could fluctuate, Samsung’s plans would mean upwards of $10 billion to bankroll the project, one of the people said.

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